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AP Warns That Angry Gay Voters Could Spoil Election for Dems

Savedade

A new AP article notes both the lack of enthusiasm and anger of gay voters as midterm elections approach, and warns that the mood could affect many races.

If Democratic candidates are counting on long-standing support from gay voters to help stave off big losses on Nov. 2, they could be in for a surprise.

Across the country, activists say gay voters are angry — at the lack of progress on issues from eliminating employment discrimination to uncertainty over serving in the military to the economy — and some are choosing to sit out this election or look for other candidates. President Barack Obama's hometown of Chicago, with its large, politically and socially active gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, offers a snapshot of what some are calling the "enthusiasm gap" between voters who came out strong for Obama and other Democrats in 2008 and re-energized Republican base voters, including tea party enthusiasts who say they are primed to storm the polls.

It didn't help that the controversy over the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy for gays erupted less than two weeks before the election, when a judge overturned it, then Obama's justice department decided to fight the judge's decision. On Thursday, the Defense Department declared that "don't ask, don't tell" is official policy but set up a new system that could make it tougher to get thrown out of the military for being openly gay.

"It's all talk and nothing's happening, and I'm just over it," said Coatar, 62, a church business manager who said she's as concerned about health care and homelessness as about gay issues. "I don't know who to vote for and the election is a week away."

However you might feel about what has been accomplished thus far, not to vote would only be more damaging.

Joe Jervis makes another point: "Folks, you must vote. And yes, you should vote Democrat, even as disappointed as you may feel, if for no other reason than this is the year that we vote in the candidates that will control post-census redistricting. Are you so angry about DADT that you'd put the fucking teabaggers in charge of redrawing the boundaries of your district?"

Today, Save Dade, Miami-Dade County's leading organization dedicated to fighting anti-gay discrimination put out a PSA making a few more good points.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. JOSEPH:

    You have it exactly right. Unless you live in a district where a crazy ass tea partier is in danger of getting elected, and especially if you live in a district or state where the Dem candidate is sure to win, vote third party. It doesn't matter which one you choose, it's a protest vote, and even a small uptick in 3rd party votes by Dems will send a huge message: We're still here, we're still queer, and our votes are not to be taken for granted.

    Posted by: Christopher | Oct 25, 2010 2:21:21 PM


  2. two points

    Federal politicians do not have anything to do with drawing districts in the states. That task falls to state legislatures and Governors. So, if redistricting is what dems are so worried about, why won't Obama support the dem running for Governor in RI? We can vote for state and local dems without voting for federal "blue dogs".

    Secondly, if gays are going to take the blame for losses, will we also get the CREDIT for wins? And, how will the dems repay us if we go out and win it for them?

    Posted by: Tim NC | Oct 25, 2010 2:22:55 PM


  3. So sick of the whining here. I didn't realize there were so many single issue voters willing to run back into a burning building.

    Good luck with your Tea Party candidates, you sad dumbfucks.

    Posted by: Gregoire | Oct 25, 2010 2:25:31 PM


  4. When are we going to get the point? The Republicans and their fascist counterparts (the "Teaparty") DON'T want us to vote just as they don't want Latinos to vote. They don't care for anyone except themselves. If WE don't vote we're cutting off our noses to spite our face. We're much further ahead by voting for Democrats who, while blundering, don't actually plan our demise.

    Posted by: Parker LA | Oct 25, 2010 2:25:55 PM


  5. The Democrats can fix their problem by putting issues of equality on the top of their agenda, abandoning their empty promises, and making good on their words with action. They got themselves into this mess by their own lethargy and political gamesmanship. So, all the preachy talk about voting out of fear of republicans should really be directed at the politicians and what they do -- not what we do. I recall the Democrats telling everyone to not vote based on the fear mongering that was George W Bush's favorite tactic. Pretty ironic that now they are use the fear-card to try to scare us into voting for then. Sheesh!

    Posted by: HardJock | Oct 25, 2010 2:26:31 PM


  6. I refuse to vote for someone who I don't believe in. It's just as much throwing away my vote as not voting is.

    Posted by: rustytrawler | Oct 25, 2010 2:27:06 PM


  7. Christopher, aren't you a regular JMG poster? In which case, you make me look reasoned and sane all of the time. The JMG comments section is overrun by the fringe left, with the occasional voice of reason that gets lost in the maelstrom of antireason, which you no doubt contribute. They're older, though...and likely heavily medicated.

    Posted by: TANK | Oct 25, 2010 2:27:28 PM


  8. No! We do not have to vote democrat. If we are not being held prisoner at the ballot box, then we have President Obama and other democrats thinking they can hold us prisoner by our fears of what a republican congress or senate may mean to gaining equal status in our country.

    Obama said as much a couple of weeks ago when he went off point at a fundraiser, when he was heckled by gay activists.

    our gay forefathers have been through much worse. I have been through much worse, so I think I can handle four to eight more republican years (give them hell while they are in office) to show Obama and others like him that this gay man is no ones Bit*h!

    And that rubbish aboutit being the DOJ's responsibility to defend the laws of the land. Well that's up for debate, but one thing is certain, when something is unconstitutional, which clearly these anti-gay laws are, then the DOJ need not be such a fierce advocate in defending these unjust laws.

    They could have gone before the 9th circuit court and said that while they were beholden to defend the laws of the land, they were not enthusiastic about defending laws they deemed unconstitutional. Also, there are past DOJ's that did not uphold laws they deemed ready to fall by the way side. Governor Schwarzenegger and AG Brown of California did not appeal Justivce Walkers ruling.

    I will not give Obama four more years, nor any democrat four more years. I am sick and tired of being a victim. I will not allow thugs to beat me senseless on my street without putting up one hell of a fight, and I won't be bullied into voting for a president who has failed to be my fierce advocate.

    Be patient. That's what Joe Solomonese of the HRC has told the gay community. Obama has a lot on his plate: two wars and a serious recession.

    Well, here is what I have to say to that bit of metaphorical handcuffs: five wars, and a full blown depression are not more important than mine and other gay people's civil rights. Nothing!! As long as any group of people, however small, can be denied their civil rights, then as a country we have proven ourselves unworthy of our freedom. As long as men and women are dieing for a country where the civil rights of group of people, however small, are violated, then they die in vain, their blood is worthless. It is a pathetic waits of youth and blood to die for such an unworthy nation.

    Over two hundred years a bunch of water-logged Europeans washed ashore, committed the most savage atrocities against its indigenous people, drafted a Utopian document declaring their independence from England, in which they set forth that all men were created equal and that all men were entitled to the pursuit of happiness and blah - blah - blah . . . and ever since the descendants of that document have struggled and fought their own constitution. Ever since the judges who were set in place, and charged with its protection have time and time again violated all its precept, which is why over two hundred years laters the constitution has yet to be ratified into law.

    No, it is not the gay community who is politically naive as the HRC suggests, but the HRC and its president who is naive. It is time for Joe with his schoolgirl crush on Obama to step down, for the HRC to catch up with the gay community.

    With gay people being assaulted and killed daily on our streets, and children . . . children for fraks sake, being bullied to death, I don't care what Obama has on his plae. I want our civil rights . . . NOW!!

    Posted by: Ricco | Oct 25, 2010 2:29:47 PM


  9. "Party fealty is for unthinking people."

    No. Single-issue voting is the hallmark of unthinking people.

    Posted by: @Tank | Oct 25, 2010 2:32:50 PM


  10. If the dems were so worried that gays could cost them an election, they would do something to earn the support of gays. They refuse to do anything, so they must have made a political calculation that they will lose fewer votes by ignoring us than they will gain by keeping their promises. Otherwise their actions make no sense for their own self interest.

    Posted by: Tim NC | Oct 25, 2010 2:33:19 PM


  11. No, it's not, actually. One issue voting? Are you a democrat? Because I couldn't tell...you sound like you'd fit right in at a GOProud meeting with stock rhetoric like that.

    For one to make gay rights a necessary condition of voting for a candidate is not "unthinking," nor is it one issue voting. Just like diversifying one's portfolio doesn't make sense for the sake of it...or even to hedge one's bets...because then you're just gambling. Is your political outlook reducible to a roulette wheel? I think it is...in which case, your opinions that pertain to more than your behaviors are completely irrelevant.

    Posted by: TANK | Oct 25, 2010 2:38:40 PM


  12. I agree with those that are voting third party...plus there were a couple of local ballot measures I wanted to vote on. BUT at this point I see a Democratic controlled Senate, Republican House, and the White House stays the same. There will be gridlock for the next two years on EVERYTHING. So maybe a little message to the DNC is in order to make sure in 2012 that our vote is counted.

    Posted by: wonderboi | Oct 25, 2010 2:48:41 PM


  13. I am going to vote for the best of two, or is it three these days!, evils!

    I am an Independent, voting a straight...[gay!] Democratic ticket!

    Posted by: Brains | Oct 25, 2010 2:55:53 PM


  14. Maybe it's time to get super gay-progressives nominated for election? Oops, sorry looking too far into the future *sigh*

    Posted by: Justin | Oct 25, 2010 3:00:37 PM


  15. I'd sure like to protest vote, but the two Dems on the ticket in my state (for senator and governor) have been staunch and consistent gay rights supporters.

    I guess my meaningless protest will have to wait till 2012. Obama still has two years to earn my vote back. (Of course, the thought of California not going to his side even if all the gays here voted against him is ludicrous.)

    Posted by: Zlick | Oct 25, 2010 3:02:00 PM


  16. *sigh*
    i have every intention of voting on election day, though not with any sense of pride or purpose, mostly obligation. in my view, the only difference between the Republicans and Democrats is the color that shows up on the electoral map on the news. otherwise their flip sides of the same coin. but then, it doesn't really matte who i vote for as i live in a solidly Rep. district with no hope of a democrat ever being elected. EVER. i suppose my vote will have an impact in the senatorial race, but i realized this morning, i have no idea whose on the ticket for either party, where they come from or what their stance is on any issue. same goes for my state reps. the truth is, IMHO anyway, that until we redesign the entire electoral process from the ground up--from the byzantine primary process to districting to congressional apportionment--we're always going to be stuck with these false choices of "Bad vs. Worse" candidates. i would say it's time to call a Constitutional Convention and rewrite the voting handbook. literally. until then, i'll hold my nose and pull the lever for a candidate who won't win so i can have a clean conscience and the D's and R's will keep doing whatever they want to do anyway. :-P

    Posted by: nickbilz | Oct 25, 2010 3:07:01 PM


  17. The headline is a little backwards. It is not gays who are spoiling the election; it is the Democrats who have spoiled the election by not placing more importance on equality.
    In the end, it looks like the Democrats decided they would get more "middle america" votes by avoiding gay issues than they would lose by angering progressive voters. So, I'll vote for progressive third party candidates.
    Obama is starting to look a little foolish by making pronouncements that DADT will "end on his watch" and the very next day defending it in court. The only thing he is a "fierce advocate" for is in defending this law. (BTW, he doesn't have to defend it. President Clinton chose to not defend a law that kept HIV-postiver persons out of the military.)
    No thanks... too old to participate in the Stockholm Syndrome elections anymore.

    Posted by: Brad | Oct 25, 2010 3:13:32 PM


  18. One of the most important things I learned while working as a behavioral coach for people with autism was "Always be aware of what you are reinforcing."

    If we vote for Democrats (regardless how many strongly worded, angry letters we've sent to them) we reinforce their belief that we will support them no matter how shabbily we're treated.

    I understand what Joe Jervis is saying. I'm not saying the alternative is terribly palatable, but I also want Joe to consider what he is reinforcing.

    Posted by: Jeffrey in St. Louis | Oct 25, 2010 3:29:50 PM


  19. After 22 years as a registered Democrat, I have lost patience with the increasingly centrist policies of that party. This year, I am voting Green.

    I expect AP to write a crap piece that "blames the gays." But if that also gets Joe Jervis' panties in a bunch, he can go buy a new pair.

    Posted by: Hank | Oct 25, 2010 3:30:53 PM


  20. I've already voted, but with the exception of a defensive vote for Jerry Brown to keep Meg Whitman out of office, I voted pretty much straight Libertarian. The few Democrats I still respect aren't my local Democrats, and the same goes for the Republicans. It's a protest vote, but given the totality of the circumstances, protesting is what needs to be done.

    Posted by: Chuck | Oct 25, 2010 3:31:10 PM


  21. Oh yeah it's THE GAYS fault....
    They are destroying the Family, the economy, the country, the military THE DEMOCRATIC MAJORITY...
    It's not the Latino community who also are pissed as heel on a whole host of issues including economic injustice...or women who were made to eat their own reproductive rights piece by piece...
    Or those all important "Independent Voters" it's all THE GAYS and the "Progressives" fault and who is puting this story out to the AP?
    The Good Old DEMOCRATIC PARTY of OBAMA.
    It's called triangulation and scapegoating.

    Truth is Obama wrote off the House.
    i'll Vote no DOUBT...but I won't vote straight Democrat now or ever again.

    Posted by: mcNnyc | Oct 25, 2010 3:35:56 PM


  22. What a bunch of whiny, gay assholes! Guys, get this straight: it ain't the Democrats who have been making political hay out of demonizing LGBT people for the last oh so many years. It ain't the Democrats who scream about the "gay agenda". It ain't the Democrats who call our humanity an "intrinsic moral evil". It ain't the Democrats who have tried to prevent any kind of meaningful, nation-wde health care program. It ain't the Democrats who held hostage millions of Americans whose unemployment benefits had expired for three weeks just to make some cheap political points with their "base". And the list goes on.

    Change or "Change" takes time. The Democrats have had two election victories (2006 and 2008) after nearly 30+ years of some kind of republicon domination in one form or the other. Democrats need to know that they have an electorate at their back that understands that to effect progressive change, you're gonna get roughed up a bit, especially if the entrenched right-wing establishment puts up a fight.

    So, go ahead. Don't vote on November 2. Then, when John Boehner is The Speaker of The House and Mitch O'Connell is the Majority Leader of the Senate; and that Constitutional Amendment to "define marriage between one man, one woman" gets passed by Congress and sent to the States for ratification; and DADT is revamped to be an even more powerful tool of discrimination against gay men and women in the military; and the national health care program is repealed and millions are left without health insurance; and Social Security is privatised; and most public assistance programs are cut or eliminated; and millions of children and their destitute parents are forced into homelessness; and the corporations and banks get even more power; and newly-revived republicon state legislatures pass laws to outlaw LGBT humanity and make being gay a crime; THEN get back to me and tell me how "angry" you are at the Democrats.

    You poor babies didn't get everything you wanted, like just RIGHT NOW, so you're going to go off in some kind of pansy petulance and stomp your foot and just, like, NOT vote and especially NOT vote for those back-stabbing Dems.

    Maybe we all can share our anger together on the bus that takes us to the isolation camps.

    Get off your asses, gay boys and girls. Get out and vote on November 2. The alternative is simply too horrible to consider.

    Posted by: mike | Oct 25, 2010 3:40:08 PM


  23. Yes, Obama has been anything but "audacious" when it comes to representing the hopes of gays. But DADT WAS voted down by Democrats in the House of Representatives and would be gone today if 1 or 2 Republicans had joined Democrats in the Senate to do the same.NOT ONE REPUBLICAN SENATOR DID SO. Don't pretend there is no difference between the two parties. Dems are our inconstant friends; Republicans are our enemies.

    Posted by: Brian | Oct 25, 2010 3:45:49 PM


  24. I'll only vote for pro-marriage equality candidates of any party. Period. The Dems can't threaten me anymore with "you'll elect Sarah Palin." THEY can do something about it.

    The AP is a conservative think tank.

    Posted by: Bruno | Oct 25, 2010 3:46:35 PM


  25. What bothers me the most is my Congressman and both U.S. Senators here in NJ are fantastic.... but I think going green might be the way for 2012....It's been almost 2 fucking years, equality now Mr. President

    Posted by: John Normile | Oct 25, 2010 3:56:26 PM


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